Monday, May 16, 2011

Google I/O 2011: GTUG BarCamp

It certainly was Google I/O.

For the GTUG organizers who gathered from around the world, even more so.

The first thing that greeted us was a big red arrow at Moscone Center, which happened to be exactly what I was looking for on Google Maps. This was Tuesday, opening morning.

Our adventure at I/O began two days earlier at the Sunday GTUG BarCamp, an "unconference" for GTUG organizers on the subject of... well an unconference can cover a wide variety of topics, with no set agenda. It's exactly like a conference, except the opposite.

The rules of an unconference are:
  1. The people who come are the best people who could have come.
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.
  3. It starts when it starts.
  4. It's over when it's over.
  5. The Law of Two Feet: If you want to go to a different session, get up and go.
We started by making up session topics right then and there, and writing them all on big colorful sticky notes. These were gathered up and distributed on a board, until we had four periods of five sessions each.

An unconference doesn't have a leader so much as a guy who moves the sticky notes around. Everything is done more or less by consensus and ad hoc. Once we had our session schedule, we broke up into groups and began discussions.

You can find all our notes on the GTUG Wiki BarCamp Page.

That's how we came up with our session list:

1A Broadcasting to Distributed Communities
1B Fragmentation and Focus
1C Running a Startup on App Engine
1D Converting Members to Presenters
1Z Getting to Know Your GTUG

2A Global Hackathon
2B Creating a Nonprofit
2C Mobile Development in the (near) Future
2D How to Present According to Batman
2Z How to Make Your Group Delicious

3A GTUG Magazine
3B How to Create a Playground for Cats
3C Writing Code Without Face Time
3D Development Experiences
3Z Tools for GTUG Managers

4A Google Involvement in GTUGs
4B Developers and Designers Collaborate
4C Android for Consumers
4Z Bootcamps and Other Hands-on Events

What seemed to excite people most was Tools for GTUG Managers, and we spent much of the time since brainstorming ideas on that topic. From geolocated android applications to a web clearinghouse, and global collaboration between the different GTUG chapters. Hopefully we'll have more to announce soon. Until then, so long from GTUG!